So…my big sister is getting married! With four bridesmaids, what better excuse to spend an afternoon eating and drinking in the sun. Nothing brings people together like a few drinks and great food.
With the weather predicting 30 degrees and sunny I set out to find a beach side venue. I went to Google and searched “gluten free tapas St Kilda”…to my surprise I was inundated with results; Republica caught my eye.
As we arrived, I was not disappointed. We headed straight to their beer garden out the back to secure a table in the sun. While the venue was very busy with tables in short supply, the décor manages to work beautifully to make you feel like you’re in your own little world.
The view from our table…
With celebration in the air we ordered our first bottle of sparkling…with many to follow.
Our sparkling of choice: Croser Pinot Noir/Chardonnay NV from Adelaide Hills SA. Quite light and not too sweet…easy to drink :)
As the conversation flowed and tangents were taken, it took us almost an hour and a half to get around to ordering lunch.
When we eventually got around to the menu (marked gluten free, much to my delight!) it took us even longer to decide.
The menu features a range of tapas items (ranging from $10 to $20 with platters slightly more expensive), pizzas under $20 and mains consisting of what I would describe as beachside gourmet ranging $25 to $35. Desserts for $10 completed the menu.
With my head swimming with choices, I became more confused when I looked at the specials board and saw a Prosciutto wrapped scallops with French lentils, broccolini and lemon crème fraiche. I have to say that the service was amazing and the waiter who I asked for intolerance assistance made many a trip to the kitchen with a final answer of “they will work something out for you” and a smile. Did they ever… My meal was amazing. The scallops were perfectly seared on the outside and soft on the inside and the small lentils flavoured with spices created a flavour contrast to the smooth seafood. The expertly cooked broccolini added a slight crunch and freshness, which I have to say really completed this meal. I do add word of warning here, if ordering a main I recommend ordering sides, as the portions are not large.
My sister and the bride to be ordered the roasted blue eye, which demonstrated the kitchens ability for presentation as well as taste. She told me that blue eye, was cooked perfectly and that the carrot puree was sweet without overpowering the other flavours. Finally the cod brandade, which we were not completely sure what it was turned out to be a type of cod and potato ‘cake’ was crisp and delicious.
Finally the pizzas (enough on their own) created a bit of excitement from my friends as they all leaned in to steal a bite.
As the day turned into night, to our surprise and delight a band started and the dancing followed.
For more info:
10-18 Jacka Blvd
St Kilda VIC 3182
(03) 8598 9055